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PETITION TARGET: YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki

Animal cruelty is running rampant on YouTube, and the tech giant is profiting from the abuse.

A Lady Freethinker investigation covered by The Guardian found more than 2,000 videos promoting or encouraging animal torture and distress, such as:

  • Wild animals suffering for human amusement, like monkeys chained up in cruel captivity, or slowly dying after getting run over by cars
  • Animal fighting, like illegal dogfighting and cockfighting
  • Animals eaten alive, like octopuses squirming for their lives as people bite into them
  • Fake “rescue” videos, where puppies and kittens are put into dangerous situations with snakes and crocodiles before being “saved” on camera
  • People using animals to hunt other animals, like dogs hunting foxes, which is illegal in many states in the U.S. and in the entire U.K.

With more than 1 billion total views, these horrifying videos could be worth up to $15 million for the content creators who post them, and up to $12 million in advertising revenue for YouTube, based on an average cost per 1,000 views taken from a Business Insider survey.

Many of the thousands of videos showing animal cruelty on YouTube violate the company’s own community standards. They also violate U.S. and U.K. laws, including the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act.

Over half of children ages 8 to 12 years old and nearly 70 percent of children 13 to 18 years old watch online videos every day in the United States — overwhelmingly on YouTube — according to a Common Sense Media survey. These animal cruelty videos send the wrong message to kids and could be psychologically damaging to some.

Worth hundreds of billions of dollars, YouTube has a responsibility to review and police the content on its platform. The company must do better for the animals, our children, and our society.

Sign this petition urging YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki to implement a no-tolerance policy toward all animal cruelty, employ a mechanism for quickly and accurately discovering videos featuring animal abuse, and readily remove all videos in violation of such a policy.